Test Day on my #JourneyToCTA

October 20, 2019by Robert Wing

Part 2 of Robert Wing’s personal



Ok you’ve done all the prep, getting good sleep, staying off your phone, wearing comfortable clothing. Now here is how your test taking day is likely to go, based on my experience

Who You Will Meet

A Facilitator will greet you, take you around, explain everything, facilitate logistics, and probably a bunch of other stuff I didn’t even notice. The facilitator will be the main person you will interact with.

While you take the test, the Proctor will sit with you. I had expected them to take away my phone and watch and shut me in a room, but how it works is they sit in the test room with you. Yes, they made me take off my mechanical watch.

Three CTA Judges will evaluate your solution presentation and perform the Q&A.

Taking the Test

The Facilitator met me in the lobby and brought me upstairs for a quick brief on what would happen before the test started. I had 10 minutes to kill with the opportunity to use the restroom and grab any beverages or snacks from the break room.

We went to the conference room for the scenario prep and met the Proctor who was going to sit in the room with me throughout the test.

When I was ready, and it was open to me to declare when that was (within reason I assume), the Proctor handed me the test with one hand and pressed the start button on the timer when my fingers touched the paper. Timing was very precise.

I worked intensely on the scenario for the 2 hours allotted. The timer buzzed and it was hands-down. The Facilitator gathered up all the artifacts and took them to the presentation conference room which was separate from the prep conference room; I wasn’t allowed to move them.

In my case, I did the prep on a Mac but had to present on a Windows machine because someone else was going to use the Mac for their test. The Facilitator used great care to not accidentally lose the files while moving it all around.

The Test Scenario

Obviously I can’t go into specific details of the requirements, but it was HARD; distinctly and materially more difficult in three specific ways than the practice scenarios I had done.

1. It was on the long end of the 7-9-page-plus-title-and-contents expectation set. This doesn’t sound like much, but it adds up when you’re under the clock.

2. It was objectively at least a third more difficult than any of the practice scenarios I’d done in terms of the total number of moving pieces and interested parties and processes and problems to solve.

3. Comprehensive domain expertise was needed to tell the entire story of marketing. From suspect to prospect, sale, onboarding, delivery, support, upsell and cancel lifecycle of the customer. The direct requirements of the scenario were just complicating details of that cycle. The practice scenarios provided more help here to make the presentation easier.

In Part 3 I will cover my test taking action plan. Stay tuned.
Or start here to read the entire series.

About Robert Wing, CTO, ArganoaMind Solutions

I’m a manager and architect focused on early-phase software product and project delivery.  I focus on building the right things, building them correctly, and delivering them reliably.
As a partner in a ~100-person consulting and software business I do a bit of everything – marketing, negotiation & selling, estimation, planning, contracting, solution design, technical design, project management & governance, etc. – with a focus on being “the product guy” and “the details guy” amongst the partners.

Robert Wing